So, I have been absent as promised while I continue to work on the new version of my memoir, when I saw this posted on Facebook by a friend. For the regular followers of this blog, you probably know where I am heading. Of note, I am exhausted, which always makes for interesting writing, the leash on my mind’s tongue gets way too much slack. I have been battling a stomach condition no doctor can explain, something i have had for as long as I can remember, but only notice when I am clean. It happens a few times a year, I just get ridiculously sharp pains in my gut, random knife twistings that make sound sleep a menagerie.
What is inside me? I am thinking this little Cherokee proverb hits my nail on its head. Looking back on my life, from circa 1995 until 2011, I have to say I was feeding the purest evil. A substance was my bride, truthfully, the only entity I cared about unconditionally. Sure, there were moments when I despised heroin, or the opiate of the year, or month, whatever, for not finishing the destruction of me. I don’t like being teased, and too many times I was lead to the edge of the abyss, offered peace in the end, only to be brought back into the land of the lifeless living. Still, I am not sure that was a promise any of them made, nor one I truly craved. To this day, when I think about the line of friends lost, like a dawn line at a Black Friday sale, I carry a certain degree of guilt for being here, able to type out my rambling thoughts in somewhat correct grammatical structures. I think about specific faces, those who left children fatherless, and think I would have been a better choice to take the ultimate plunge, to trade places and exchange my present day peace for their last moment of despair.
I quit questioning all of that though, or at least mostly stopped, after releasing the first version of the memoir. I got a slew of personal letters, strangers who have become friends, thanking me for sharing the journey I willingly set off upon with that first taste of morphine 17 years ago. That I know and talk freely about, that inside me is a piece of brain matter that wants to see me clutch pain, that wants to knock me down so that I can crawl over the broken dreams, and reach for the outstretched hand of the lie. Time has caused it to atrophy a bit, but it is still there, tucked away, in its cocoon of self-loathing and doubt, waiting for life’s next tragedy to poke out its little worm-like head, and offer up the often tried solution. It tells me there is no metamorphosis, that a butterfly or whatever is not happening, that at best, they are dormant maggots frozen in time, until hurt thaws their appetite, and in the blink of a needle’s eye, I am back to the beginning, asking the same dumb rhetorical questions.
Yeah, that is me, a dark, brooding guy, that is nothing like the man i show the world. Which wolf wins? A great question, but I like to think certain “foodstuffs” in this analogy carry far better nutritional value. That sometimes, who I am at my core is far stronger, that either I carry an intense desire to live, to be something, or have one hell of an army of guardian angels that have kept watch on my soul, that have grabbed it on its ascent, and shoved it back into my body, because I couldn’t have dreamed this moment. Which brings me to the thing that first gave me a flicker of inspiration to actually blog tonight.
I have been lucky enough to meet a fair number of beautiful people and even know today I am far from ugly. As I do every night, I talk to the most gorgeous person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I am a firm believer that we meet people for a reason, sometimes to teach us a lesson the hard way, while others just are a shining answer. She is the ultimate star, one I looked up at the sky, that somehow guided me into this present state of real bliss. Whereas I spent so many years chasing artificial bliss, be it substance or flesh, she is true and pure in her love. Me, I am just one lucky, blessed man, to have fate draw me back to her when the pain was pushing me to ensure that so many other’s perceptions of me became a reality.
She took an empty heart and filled it up with friendship, with a non-judgmental ear, with kindness and compassion, mixed with words I needed to hear, so that I could actually see me for who I really am. I told her a few hours ago, that she has made me a better man, and that I am driven to become better every single day, to love her more, to appreciate my life more so than the day before. When I read the new material in my memoir, as just a reader and not the author, it carries this crazy extraordinary real life fairy tale quality. Reality is always more powerful than any piece of fiction. The journey to get here has been an amazing one. The hardest part of writing all of this out, is conveying the sheer purity of what we are together. Words fail me every single time and I know because I am on my 2413rd attempt at trying, futilely, to explain what she means to me.
One thing I know, finally, is all of this is what my friend Stacey was talking about when she sent me a letter back when I was paying the government for my sins, that my life would be a great book if it had a happy ending. So many times in life I lied to myself about that ending. Pretended that I was living some happily ever after tale, only to end up more lost than ever. Yet all the while, fate guided me, to that one brilliant, shining star, heaven-sent, and now the story has its end. I just need to put all of it into words that fit, like we do, perfectly, in every single way. In a word, together we are love. We are bulletproof and divine, two lives lucky enough to intersect twice in a lifetime. She is my purpose, my inspiration and my every dream fulfilled.
So yeah, love is the thing that crushes every bad thing I was, that withers away the demons inside my mind, that gets me well, and pushes me to excel. To give back, to give thanks to my guardian angels, to be all I was meant to be. I am a miracle, dead too many times over, finally alive, living life without fear, and thankful for every warm embrace. Today, I appreciate just waking up, that I am out of the fog and illuminated in her light.